Social Network 411 for Parents

Jul 24, 2013

Tags: , , ;

Social Networks

It seems like every teen and most adults are on at least one social network. Social networks are wonderful for their ability to connect people across any distance, but unfortunately, while everyone is quick to enjoy the benefits of social networks, few actually do their research on the pitfalls.

As a parent, it is vital that you stay up to date on both the good and bad potential of each social network your child is involved with.

Any social network can be used by anyone, ultimately. Apps meant for parents or couples can easily be used by groups of friends or sexual predators instead. Make sure everyone in the family understands what types of communications, information, and images should not be shared on social networks. Caution your teens to be careful and smart when deciding what to view or share and lead by example. Some things you will want to avoid sharing online include revealing when you are out of town or when kids are home alone. Related to that, never share your location.

Only let kids connect with people you or they know and trust in real life, and be smart with your privacy settings. Don’t share your posts with “Everyone” and understand that what’s private only stays that way if your friends don’t share your content with their own “private” networks.

It’s also very important that parents realize Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, etc. are not the only social networks out there. If teens feel like their privacy is being invaded on one network, it’s possible they will turn to one you haven’t heard of.

Here are some popular private social networks you may not know about:

  • Everyme –helps you share privately with family and friends grouped in Circles.
  • 23Snaps – private photo-sharing intended for parents to collect and share family memories with close friends and relatives.
  • Notabli – allows parents to share private photos and videos of family moments with relatives and close friends.
  • Nextdoor – allows neighborhoods to connect and discuss things that matter to them.
  • Couple – allows two people to connect and share messages, videos, audio, photos, to-do lists, “ThumbKisses”, and more.
  • Path – has a wide variety of features that allows you to share your life with up to 150 friends and family members.
  • FamilyWall – allows families to share text, picture, video, and audio messages privately.
  • Edmodo – education social network that connects teachers, students, parents, and administrators.
  • PhotoCircle – shared photo album app that lets members of a group take pictures that are instantly shared with the rest of the group.

While a private social network may be a safer experience for your child in theory, keep in mind that there are only a handful of social networks you can directly monitor. If you can see what’s happening, it’s easier to help your kids stay on track. You’ll have to decide what’s best for your family.

If you decide parental control software with social networking monitoring capabilities is the right fit for your family, Net Nanny Social lets you supervise your kids on the main social networks you’re used to hearing about. It can notify you of cyberbullying and keep you aware of any interactions your child is having. Remember that even with a program to help, you’ll want to check their activity regularly to make sure they only post things you approve of.

For more info on this topic, check out this great e-book: Social Networking Challenges Every Parent Should Know

I work for Net Nanny and all opinions are my own.